Last night Pavan and I were listening to old film songs. Somewhere in the middle of getting lost in the melancholy of Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye, I realised something; both of us are growing up. Music has that effect on me – it sort of shakes me up and makes me stare into the reality of life. Sometimes I don’t like what I see and sometimes I do.
I wasn’t always the old-film-song-listening kind of person. I’ve had my fair share of Backstreet Boys and Aqua. My school backpack had Nick Carter written on it with a marker. I’d look at my mom and grand mom like they were from an asylum when they were appreciative of films and music from their time. I just didn’t see it.
And then I turned 18. Suddenly, everyone around me was listening to Rafi and Kishore Kumar. My orientation into old school music thus began. True, I was one of those severely vulnerable teens who shaped and moulded her interests according to what was “cool” but I also latched onto what genuinely moved me; they continue to have that impact on me.
I believe that to appreciate beauty in any form of art, you need to have some amount of wisdom. Without the collective experiences of pain and joy, you are merely appreciating gibberish. I know I have referred to myself as a “girl” here on many occasions and I suppose I still see myself as one. While I don’t think that’s entirely incorrect, I realise that a part of me knows now to differentiate between what’s superficial and what’s real.
The thought of turning 30 is not really pleasant. But I find joy and comfort in the fact that I’d much rather stay at home with Pavan and listen to classics than hit a pub on a Saturday night. Or I’d much rather eat this very old-fashioned caramel custard while watching You’ve Got Mail.
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 2 tbsp +2 tsp water
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- ½ a vanilla pod, split
- 1 large egg
- 2 yolks
- ¼ cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C. You’ll need four individual porcelain (ramekins) or metal moulds.
- For the caramel, bring sugar and water to a gentle simmer. Continue to cook the syrup, until it turns into a light brown.
- Pour the caramel into each mould, and tilt the mould so the caramel spreads evenly. Set aside.
- For the custard, bring milk and the split vanilla pod to the boil in a saucepan. Meanwhile beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar using a wire whisk. Once the milk starts boiling, take it off the heat and gently pour into the eggs in a thin stream, while whisking the eggs. (otherwise the eggs will curdle)
- Strain the custard mixture and pour into the prepared moulds.
- Place moulds in a deep dish. Pour boiling water into the dish, half way up to the moulds.
- Bake the custards for 40 minutes.
- Allow custard to come down to room temperature. Refrigerate them.
- To serve, run a knife between the custard and the mould. Place a plate upside down over the mould, quickly reverse the two and remove the mould of the custard.